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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Wolf's Groove Tube (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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nowyoucme
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I just love mine. I have not had a chance to try this for the kids yet, but when I do it should be a hit. What do you guys do to cover up that little thing that happens when the ball comes flying out? I don't know if I can say anything about it on here. Thanks.
stempleton
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Been waiting for a performance vid. Anyone like to share theirs? My searches have not proved fruitful. Anyone?
CarlEJones
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That "little something" has not been a problem for me. They don't seem to even be aware of it.

The hole was a problem but my dremel tool fixed that!

I DO wish the ball would fly higher!!

I thought the kid held the tube also from the ad. No big deal that they can't.

Carl
zipper
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Magical dudes and dudettes,

I wanted an item from Wolf's magic and I couldn't afford the high-end items, so I went with the Groove Tube. I've used it enough in the real world to offer some advice/suggestions to help those of you who also purchased the item (or want to) but haven't used it enough to feel comfortable with it. Some introductory thoughts first and then my routine.

I, too, had trouble getting Chance to respond to e-mails in a timely fashion but he is very willing to talk at length about his items by phone. I know he'll say he was too busy to email, so I'm hesitant even to mention it.

I thought the groove tube was priced too high for the way it is constructed (you can see rivets on the outside of the tube), especially in regard to the audible noise the occurs when the ball is ejected from the tube. I guess I was hoping for something a lot more clever or at least sneaky. In all fairness, the kids in the audience haven't complained so maybe it's not a big deal. Another performer suggested putting a bike horn under the armpit and making a noise with that as the ball is ejected into the air (could also use a mouth squeaker, blowing at the right time I suspect). For me, I'm just going to do it per directions and ignore the noise until members of the audience start throwing decomposed vegetables at me, or I spot the hook coming from stage left.

The plastic rod (mine's green) that must be inserted into the holes in the tube to make the trick logical is a really loose fit, meaning that if you're not careful, it's going to slide out of the tube and hit the floor when you least expect it (unless you have reflexes like a snake and can catch it as it quickly descends). Be careful to hold it snugly throughout the routine or suffer the consequences, which would not be a good thing for the routine.

I found the color change of the ball to be silly. Whatever move was used (either taking it from the top as per instructions or loading it underneath as in the cups and balls move) just reeked of duplicity, so I simply discarded it. It didn't hurt the routine at all to just leave the ball at home. Just play the whole thing for laughs until the end and tell the audience that you can't do any magic because you can't find your wand and let it go at that, moving to your next trick. It's hard for anyone to do the necessary palm with the ball of that size unless you have a hand the size of a five-pound ham. Again, heed my good advice and don't change binky into boinky or you will sight the hook coming from stage left.

Do not use your forefinger to make the ball eject from the tube, use your thumb. The human thumb is stronger thanks to millions of years of human evolution, and it is positioned in such a way that it is possible using that digit (i.e., the thumb) to make the ball flick higher into the air than if the finger is used (trust me on this one as I spent countless hours experimenting with ways to do it best). Give an imperceptible jerk of the arm as you flick the thumb and the ball flies really high into the air.

My Routine: (I'm going to be as terse as possible, which means that some of the niceties and subtleties, some suggested in the directions by Chance and some I invented to streamline the effect, will be lost. Read between the lines and use the routine if you like with my blessings.

My tube has a green ball as the basic color so that's what I'll use to describe things (remember, leave the red ball at home as you're not going to use it). You have the tube with all that it contains in your trunk, along with the green rod and the green ball alongside the tube.

1. Grab the tube from your trunk with your left hand (if you're right handed), covering the hole in the back with the heel of your left thumb and the length of the thumb. This will hide the hole in the tube and the apparatus for lowering the ball into view. In this way, you can actually show the tube all the way around without arousing suspicion. Go to your trunk for the green ball and show it. Now you're going to do a move that will show the audience that all you have is any empty tube. Hold the tube horizontally with the top away from you and the bottom up against your left hip (making sure no audience member can see in the tube's top). Pretend to place the green ball in the top (actually palming it in the right hand). Tilt the tube down as you move your right (with the palmed ball) down the length of the tube and deftly palm it into the bottom of the tube, letting it fall out (or seeming to) at the right moment. To the audience you've just dropped a ball through an empty tube and retrieved it with your right hand (I do it twice).

2. Then follow Chance's directions that came with the tube. Put the green rod into the the tube (as per instructions), holding the green rod for the duration of the trick by encircling one side with the forefinger, which holds the rod securely enough that it will not fall from the tube. Take this opportunity to insert your thumb into the tube as per instructions. Place the ball (or have a child do it but don't let him/her too near you or he/she will look into the bottom of the tube and that would be no good; again, trust me).

3. "I must find my wand or no magic." As you look for your wand you cause the ball to fly out of tube. I do the fly out twice and then on the third I look in the tube and have the ball eject, hitting me in the nose (it's a hoot).

4. Get the cork and loosely put it on top. Go for the wand again. Depress the ejector and release, which will cause the cork to fly up in the air about 5 inches. Let the cork hit the ground. As you bend over to retrieve the cork, eject the ball into the air again, which will fly up behind your head (because you're searching around on the floor for the cork). Get the ball, put it back in the tube, and then cover it with the cork again. Here, you don't have to eject the cork with the tube's apparatus. You can just use your thumb to move quickly upward, which is sufficient to make the cork fall on the floor (silently) though it won't go as high as if you use the tube's apparatus. Don't overdo this cork- from-the-tube move, but milk it for all the comedy that it can produce, which is a lot.

5. Then do the peek move out the bottom a few times. If you like, after doing it a few times, you can show the audience that the ball can't be peeking out the bottom because it's still on top of the green rod in the top of the tube, showing the ball is still on top. Then do the cork and ball flying out of the top one more time. Again, sense of timing will keep your routine from running away from you. I don't understand the comments of some others at the Café that a something needs to be added that will stick to metal and is one of the basic forces of nature. I have no trouble working the peek exactly as the instructions suggest.

6. Conclude the trick by saying, "Well, kiddos, I can't do any magic because I couldn't find the magic wand." (Again, do not do the color change because it hurts the routine in my opinion.)

That's it. It's not the kind of trick that's going to replace some of the more basic routines, but it does work up a crowd of youngsters better than anything else I do. It is fun to perform, and you get better ejecting the ball and feigning expressions of surprise and exasperation the more times you do it in the real world (plus, your thumb will get stronger and better conditioned for the basic move). Do note that the first thing that happens when the ball ejects is that kids jump out of their seats and scurry toward you to return the ball, possibly spying the ball in the bottom of the tube (so be careful and practice enough so you don't ruin the trick for me when I perform it in front of the same audiences that you have).

Magical things to you and yours,
Zipper
magic-markus
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Thanks for shearing your ideas.
zipper
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Magic-Markus,

Happy to help.

Best,
Potty the Pirate
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One point I'd add, is to keep the unit fairly close to your body to avoid sight-angle issues. If you hold the tube away from your body, the kids will see your finger (or thumb) going into the tube.
The "cups and balls" load is easy - have your free hand in your pocket, and p**m the ball there, just before the ball in the tube shoots in the air. As this happens, the misdirection is 100%. You can slip the p****d ball into the bottom of the tube now, with no problem.
Potty Smile
MoonRazor
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The only issue I ever have is kids sitting at my feet seeing the bottom ball, but a slight tilt forward cures that.
zipper
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I must add my two cent's worth. It has been my experience that palming the ball and smuggling it into the tube, regardless of the level of misdirection, is difficult; more importantly, it is anti-climactic, doing little to nothing to strengthen the audience's enjoyment of the routine. I still advise that you leave the off ball at home and play the routine strictly as I described no matter how well you are able to palm (of course, if one wants to smuggle the ball in, that is up to each individual performer).

Best,
Zipper
Potty the Pirate
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Quote:
On 2010-11-17 14:51, zipper wrote:
I must add my two cent's worth. It has been my experience that palming the ball and smuggling it into the tube, regardless of the level of misdirection, is difficult; more importantly, it is anti-climactic, doing little to nothing to strengthen the audience's enjoyment of the routine. I still advise that you leave the off ball at home and play the routine strictly as I described no matter how well you are able to palm (of course, if one wants to smuggle the ball in, that is up to each individual performer).

Best,
Zipper

I disagree, Zipper. The misdirection is at least as strong as the cups & balls reveal - which provides enough misdirection to load a large piece of fruit into a cup (an item which CANNOT be effectively p****d unless you have hands the size of baseball gloves). And, this enables you to finish the routine with a color change which is, I'd argue, not anti-climactic.
Of course, it's up to each individual to come up with a presentation that suits them.
Potty Smile
zipper
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Potty,

I don't want to beat this to death (because from our respective posts, we each agree that routines are best left to the objectives and skills of each performer). However, I insist that loading a piece of fruit into an empty cup, which remains empty after the fruit is produced (usually done seated at a table or at least below audience's line of vision), is far different from the way the groove tube's original routine (i.e., by Chance Wolf)is to be performed. When a performer palms a ball in during the groove tube routine (skillfully or not, with great misdirection or not) and then he or she baldly asserts the green ball that has been peeking out from under the tube has turned red, everybody in the audience (except for the hopelessly naive or pathologically stupid) will demand a look in the tube (I've done this enough in the real world to know of what I speak, and--trust me on this--I do palm well enough that the problem is not with my palming technique) to see in the tube. Unlike with the cups and balls after a final load of fruit, a performer cannot allow the groove tube to be examined, making the color change of the ball, if not anticlimactic, then without value.

Happy trails,
Zipper
The Awesome One
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I love the groove tube and have been performing it as an opener for my birthday party shows for about 6 months. It is a great routine as the kids go nuts with the ball shooting out and peeking from the bottom, it really helps set the show up in the audience's mind as being both magical and funny.

I must disagree with zipper, I always finish the routine with the colour change using the cups and balls method. The misdirection of the yellow ball shooting into the audience is perfect and I have never been caught out with it. I think the colour change adds an unexpected magical ending to the routine. There are always audible oohs and aaahs when they see the colour change as no-one sees it coming. I then get the audience to give applause to the helper while I pack the tube away and no-one ever asks to see the tube. I think it is the perfect note to finish the routine on.

I also modified the tube with a ma___t to make the handling of the bottom peek easier. The only other thing I have done is swapped the green rod for a magic wand, as I think it looks better.
Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat.
Potty the Pirate
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There is a solution, if you want the tube to be examined (though I feel it's unneccessary - no one has yet asked me to see the tube). You can ask Chance to make you an ungimmicked tube, and s****h them out at an appropriate moment. YOu can do this with good routining - perhaps the ball falls behind your table, and as you bend down to pick it up, the tube momentarily disappears from view, and the deed is done.
This method would also allow several different coloured balls to appear as a climax.
Potty Smile
zipper
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Magic folks,

After reading the posts by Potty and Awesome One about how much they like the color change, I returned to the scene of the crime and worked with groove tube again. I still don't like the color change because in my experience nobody in my audiences have been impressed with it; certainly, nobody has been fooled. Nonetheless, I do want to share the details of what my back-to-the-trick research produced. You've just done the peek out the bottom a few times and you're moving toward the color change and end of the routine. Remove the cork from the top, showing that the ball is still in the top part of the tube so it can't be peeking out. (Here's where I depart from the original instructions.) Take the cork and stick it in the bottom hole of the tube (you really don't need to offer any justification other than "Trick's over and time to put it away; sorry I couldn't find my wand." (The rod is still thru the tube.) Go to your whatever and get the bag that comes with the trick, palming the ball at the same time. Show the bag and place it under your arm. Move toward the top of the tube with the palmed ball and secretly place it into the top of the tube, while you turn your body to the right. Tip the tube enough that the changed ball (mine's red) can roll into your right hand to be shown to audience, making sure the green ball doesn't roll out, too. Angles are no problem because of the cork in the bottom. Set the tube aside and go on to your next trick (or put the tube in the bag, which is under your arm). You can hand the changed ball out for examination. I really don't like loading the ball under the tube in cups-and-balls fashion because it looks like a "move" with or without good misdirection (in a way that taking the ball from the top does not).

I will probably do the color change at my next show to see how the moves I just described go over, hoping that, like the awesome one and potty, I receive good results (oohs and aaahs would be nice).

Magical things,
Zipper
zipper
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I did the groove tube in a show last night and did an ending that I liked. It went over well so, to keep this thread complete, I want to describe it for those of you who do the groove tube. As per my earlier comments on my routine in this thread, I get to the end of the routine having done the fly-out and peek out several times. After removing the cork from the top to show that the green ball is still on top (my set has two green and one red), I stick the cork in the bottom (not necessary but it does keep the peek-out ball from being seen as easily). I announce that since I can't find my wand, no magic will be possible. I go to my trunk, get the bag that comes with the set, palming the red ball. I put the bag under my arm and say something like, "Wait a minute. Look at the magic after all." I show the green ball has changed by removing the red ball from the top of the tube (waiting for oohs and aahs). Then I go to the big finish: I slide the entire tube off the green rod, retaining the rod in my left hand and putting the tube away in my trunk. I have the red bag under my left arm, the green rod in my left hand, and the red ball in the right. I say, "Wait a minute. I know why the magic occurred. This green rod has been the magic wand all along." At that point I pretend to place the red ball into my left hand (which also holds the green rod), retaining the ball in classic palm in the right (the rod is held in the closed left fist (which audience thinks also holds the red ball). I grab the bag from under my left arm, and ditch both bag and red ball in my trunk. I say a few magical words, extracting the rod from my closed left fist. I hit the left closed fist with the green rod and the red ball vanishes. I put the green rod in the trunk and I'm off to the next trick. This bit with the green rod as wand gives a nice ending to the groove tube and it gives the routine an additional punch that it did not have when the ball simply changed colors (boinky into binky or is it binky into boinky??).

Magical things,
Zipper
RNK
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Nice ending Zipper! I just wanted to post how awesome this goes over with the kids. I finally used it for the first time in my show last night. The kids went WILD! Even the adults were laughing and oohing. Mathew- thanks for the bit about letting the ball hit you in the face- everyone one went nuts when I did that. Also, someone posted about the green ball changing to the red ball at the end- this too went over great. If you have this and havn't put it in your act- I highly recommend that you do.

RNK
Potty the Pirate
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I didn't previously read the last couple of posts from Zipper, but now that I have, I'm rather surprised that he's come up with a much more complicated way to finish the routine than the standard Cups and Balls load (he's gone for a classic palm move with all the heat on it instead). Fair play, if that works for him. But I still maintain that loading the different coloured ball into the bottom of the unit ( a la C&B) has 100% misdirection, and works exceptionally well. Groove Tube is Wolf's Magic's best "budget" item, though I'm not sure that they are available any longer.
Potty
RNK
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Quote:
On 2011-11-11 14:20, Potty the Pirate wrote:
I didn't previously read the last couple of posts from Zipper, but now that I have, I'm rather surprised that he's come up with a much more complicated way to finish the routine than the standard Cups and Balls load (he's gone for a classic palm move with all the heat on it instead). Fair play, if that works for him. But I still maintain that loading the different coloured ball into the bottom of the unit ( a la C&B) has 100% misdirection, and works exceptionally well. Groove Tube is Wolf's Magic's best "budget" item, though I'm not sure that they are available any longer.
Potty


I agree Potty. The load is super simple when you go into your bag the last time to find the magic wand and you can't- you come out with the red ball p#$$%&med and load it as you say. No one ever sees it.

RNK
Potty the Pirate
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It really doesn't matter how you palm the final load....you have so much misdirection, no one will ever think to watch your hands. I still think an ungimmicked tube would be a great advantage. Simply switch out the tubes at some point during the routine, and you have your perfect finish. There would be a zillion ways to play the routine if an ungimmicked tube were supplied also.
But sadly, Wolf's Magic is no more, as far as I'm aware. So that's a very unlikely scenario. Those who are lucky enough to own some of Wolf's effects, have their hands on some priceless props - not to mention highly collectible.
Wolf's Magic has set the bar at a very high level...it will be interesting to see if there will be any others who can reach so high.
Of course, there are so many magic effects, but very few include such astonishingly beautiful and kid-friendly props as those made by Chance Wolf.
Clearly, the world of kids' magic remains a very small one. It's only relatively few who continue to prosper commercially from this small sector of the magic business....which, in it's way is surprising, as kids' magicians collectively command the vast majority of income for magic shows. A stab in the dark - I suspect that about 97% of the money spent on magic shows goes to kids' magicians....the other 3% is shared between the close-up magicians, and "adult" stage performers. Even including Las Vegas. A bit of the "Tortoise and the Hare" there.....
Potty Smile
My opinion is that this is due to the hard work, bad hours, and considerable financial comittment that kids' magicians put up with. Then again, if I think of what those who perform magic for adult audiences endure, I consider myself very lucky.
RNK
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I have a question for you guys/girls.... I am doing a boys cub scouts show for 1st graders to 4th graders. I love the groove tube, gets GREAT reactions, but do you think the older kids would enjoy this too? I guess 9 to 10 year olds?

Thanks for help...
RNK

PS- my 1000th post.... not a better place to post it in!
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